MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

THE MOUNTAIN BICYCLE

 

 

 

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THE MOUNTAIN BICYCLE

 

MIYATA ELEVATION - INTRO

FINDING THE MIYATA

BUILDING NEVA'S MIYATA

RIDING NEVA'S MIYATA

 

MOUNTAIN BICYCLES

 

BUILDING NEVA'S MIYATA

Building the Miyata was just a bit more than a full mechanical overhaul.  In addition to the complete disassembly, full inspection coupled with repair/replace demands, the bicycle was also made tour worthy.  With that in mind, the actual build story is lack lustre, but the why for the build is incredibly interesting...

Certain Bicycles for Humanity (B4H) donated bicycles are automatically deemed acceptable to send to Africa and such bicycles, by policy, are sent - with one exception.  Any B4H volunteer, in the Thunder Bay chapter, can ask to earn any bicycle donated to the salvage and share operation.

Neva, a wonderful B4H volunteer, expressed interest in a sturdy bicycle that would be capable of making a long journey.  The journey would parallel the west coast of North America, extending from Canada, through the USA and into Mexico.  After looking over all of the bikes available, she chose a very little used Miyata mountain bicycle, asking if if could be converted for road use and the lengthy journey intended.  The answer was yes and the build began and in humble thanks to this wonderful young lady.

Thanks to Neva's participation in the B4H volunteer group, Bicycles for Humanity - Thunder Bay was invited to participate in the Lakehead University Student Union (LUSU) presented Bicycle Round-Up.  The purpose of the Round-Up would be two fold.

First, inviting departing students to donate their no longer needed bicycles to B4H would mean fewer bicycles would be left chained, or cabled to Lakehead University (LU) bike racks, creating security problems on more than one level.  Secondly, the organized collection would prove beneficial to the B4H salvage aspect of the overall operation.

The first annual LUSU Bicycle Round Up took place in 2008 and has since expanded to include both round-up and bicycle yard sale, each Spring, just before school year end.  The departing students are invited to a free lunch, courtesy of LUSU.  Lakehead University students and staff were all invited, fed and presented with the opportunity to donate to Bicycles for Humanity.  This Bicycle Round-Up, thanks to Neva's fantastic idea, has created considerable resources for B4H-TB.  But it does not end there...

Neva also suggested that B4H offer bicycles for sale, to the incoming students, the following fall.  Many bicycles, such as older style Ten Speeds, Roadsters and Antiques were not appropriate candidates for use in Africa's prevalent riding conditions.  With that in mind, B4H-TB needed to find a way to make practical use of the bikes.  The opportunity and the need reached Neva, at the same time, and the first annual LUSU Vintage Bicycle Yard Sale came into being.

Since that time, three Yard Sales have taken place on opening class day.  The students swarm the B4H volunteers, expressing interest in this or that old bike.  Can you hold it for me, long enough for me to get cash, was a common request.  But there is more...

Neva also invited Caring Hands, an already partner with B4H-TB to attend the yard sale, and offering their line of wares to the students and staff of LU.  With the presence of Caring Hands, a debit machine made itself available, once again helping on all levels of the event.

By the end of what is usually a short day since the bicycles sell very fast, the group of volunteers will have had a great time meeting a small host of new and eager people from all corners of the world.  The students will have found a simple, effective and personality expressing mode of transportation.  And B4H-TB will have earned enough money to send at least 100 bicycles to Africa.  And thanks, mostly to the idea and shared energy of one person.  Thank you Neva!

NEXT - RIDING THE MIYATA ELEVATION 200

 

 

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